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20th Anniversary Heart Of The Hamptons Ball

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Humanitarian Heart Honoree Jean Shafiroff, Honoree Dr. Frank Specer and Barbara Poliwoda Regional Director, Hamptons Heart Ball, Healing 5k, Heart Ride pose for a photo-op at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Barbara Poliwoda Regional Director, Hamptons Heart Ball, Healing 5k, Heart Ride and Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Humanitarian with Heart Award Honoree Jean Shafiroff

Humanitarian with Heart Award Honoree Jean Shafiroff and TV Host Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Breck Costin and  Chair Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin pose for a photo -op at at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Rosemary Ponzo, Edward Ankudavic pose for a photo -op at at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Joy Marks  poses for a photo -op at at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Joy and Alan Marks pose for a photo -op at at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Victor de Souza and Dusin Lujan
pose for a photo -op at at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Jessica DiMeo Senior Regional Director, Communications and Cognac Wellerlane pose for a phot-op at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Co-Chair Lori Snyder, Joy Marks and Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball

Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at the 20th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball.  Ms. Wellerlane's Fascinator designer by Millinery Designer Dora Marra of Headdress New York

This year guests gathered to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of The Heart of The Hamptons Ball.

The glamorous event took place on Saturday, June 25th from 6 to 11 p.m. at the grounds of the Hayground School. This year's theme was "An Evening Under The Stars" and the event was surely dazzling.

The Heart of the Hamptons Ball honored Dr. Frank Spencer, MD, Professor of Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center, with the Distinguished Service Award, as well as Jean Shafiroff, Humanitarian and Philanthropist, with the Humanitarian with Heart Award.

"The funds the Hamptons Heart Ball raises goes towards the important lifesaving work of the American Heart Association," revealed Barbara Poliwoda, Regional Director for the Hamptons Heart Ball. "Some of the funds raised by the American Heart Association have helped to put defibrillators in schools, helped develop the artificial stent, pacemakers and cardiac stents. Funds have also helped to restricted smoking in public places, and provided information to the people in our community on healthy eating and signs of symptoms of a heart attack and stroke."

The event this year was chaired by Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Nicole Noonan, Randi Schatz, and Tracy Stern.

Dr. Frank Spencer was born in Haskell County, Texas in a country farmhouse.  Seven miles from the nearest town of Haskell, there was no electricity or running water in many farmhouses.  Dr. Spencer learned to read, spell and do multiplication tables from his mother at a very young age which led to his being placed in the third grade at the age of six. The nearest school was a two room schoolhouse three miles from Dr. Spencer's home.  For five years he rode six miles every day on a horse purchased by his father so that he could go to school.  With the addition of graveled roads, students were finally able to take a bus to the high school in Haskell were Dr. Spencer graduated as valedictorian at the age of fifteen.

Thanks to the encouragement of his parents and a high school science teacher, Dr. Spencer was accepted to North Texas State. During his freshman year, the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred.  At the age of seventeen he was accepted in Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee which enabled him to attend medical school and accept a commission in the Navy as a lieutenant instead of enrolling in the draft.

Dr. Spencer's exceptional work allowed him to graduate as the top student in his medical school class in 1947 whereas he  went on to intern at Johns Hopkins.  He spent two years at UCLA followed by two years in military service.  Five years out of medical school is when Dr. Spencer made major advances in surgical techniques in the military.  Dr. Spencer was placed in a small hospital unit that was just barely behind battle lines. The official policy was to ligate injured arteries which resulted in amputation in about 50% of cases.  Dr. Spencer took a major risk with the support of his military advisor and implemented an experimental program to repair arteries.  With a team of four surgeon, 90 arteries were repaired over the course of several months which resulted in many less amputations.  His program was a success and was adopted in Korea within only a few months and subsequently in Vietnam.

Dr. Spencer was awarded the Legion of Merit Award and was honored in two different Presidential  Addresses for outstanding surgical advance in military surgery in both Korea and Vietnam.  He remained on the facility at John Hopkins for six years and helped launch open heart surgery there in 1955.  He went on to accept the Chairman of Surgery position at New York University where he introduced coronary bypass.  He was the Chairman at NYU Langone Medical Center for over 30 years; he remains on the faculty primarily working with patient safety.  Dr. Spencer has also been President of the American College of Surgeons, the American Surgical Association and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Spencer attributes his success to enormous dedication and in plain words "A Lot of Hard Work."

Congratulations Dr. Frank Spencer for you dedication and being honored as Distinguished Service Honoree

This year Humanitarian with Heart Honoree goes to the very elegant Jean Shafiroff.

Ms. Shafiroff is a philanthropist and activist.  She is considered to be at the vanguard of a new movement of modern philanthropists.  Jean's philanthropy goes beyond financial contributions and includes the gifts of extensive time and knowledge.  Through her work she encourages and seeks to empower all individuals to become philanthropists so that they can build the fulfillment of giving into their lives.

A volunteer fundraiser, leader and spokesperson for several charitable causes, the spectrum of Jean's philanthropic work includes improving the lives of underserved populations, women's rights and well being, health care, animal welfare and resources for children in need, in addition to other causes. Jean serves on the boards of New York City Mission Society, New York Women's Foundation, French Heritage Society, Couture Council (Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology), Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (20+ years), Southampton Animal Shelter Honorary Board and Southampton Bath & tennis Club's Charitable Foundation.  Jean has been widely recognized and featured in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, Gotham Magazine, the New York times, New York Social Diary, Avenue, Hamptons Magazine and the Huffington Post among others.

Jean works closely with the multiple causes she supports.  Each years she chairs numerous galas and hosts events benefiting numerous not-for-profit organizations.  She is particularly well known for her leadership in raising money for many charities including the Southampton Hospital, New York City Mission Society, New York Women's Foundation and Southampton Animal Shelter.  Jean has been honored by several organizations including the New York City Mission Society, Youth Counseling League, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, Surgeons of Hope, the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Pet Philanthropy Circle and Animal Zone International.

Ms. Shafiroff holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columia University and a BS in physical therapy from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  She has worked both in public finance and private partnership on Wall Street.  Prior to that she was a physical therapist at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.  Jean is married to Martin Shafiroff an investment advisor and together they have two daughters, Jacqueline and Elizabeth who share their mother's interest in charitable efforts.

In March 2016, Shafiroff authored her first book "Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give." The book is about Shafiroff's experiences as a philanthropist and how to get involved in charity work. It contains an introduction by Georgina Bloomberg

During my interview I asked "Jean what does this award mean to you, you must be so thrilled."

Jean:  Well first I want to speak about the American Heart Association and as you know heart problems are the number one killer in the United States and stroke is the fourth killer.  I am so honored to be part of this event and to be honored really means to give service.  I am delighted to give a little service to the American Heart Association.

Cognac:  I also understand that you recently wrote a wonderful book and it's on the Best Seller List.  Many people have bought the book in Manhattan and the Hamptons and people are talking about it all around the world.  What inspired you to write this book, "Successful Philanthropy?"

Jean:  Yes, I wrote the book "Successful Philanthropy  How to Make a Life By What You Give"....and I wrote it to encourage people to get involved in the giving process.  Now many, many millions of people are but there are others who have so much to offer and I would like to encourage people to give and to believe what they can give in terms of time, knowledge and resources is very valuable and they can truly make a difference.

Both Jean and her family reside in Manhattan and Southampton.

Congratulations Jean Shafiroff as this year's Humanitarian With Heart Honoree.

For more information please visit

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